SAMENA Telecommunications Council seminar on building sustainable Internet business model

SAMENA Telecommunications Council (SAMENA), a tri-regional industry association of leading telecommunications organizations, and European Telecommunications Network Operators’ Association (ETNO) are holding the annual SAMENA Chairmen and CEOs seminar in Hong Kong under the theme “Internet Policy Dynamics: Shaping the Future – How consensus between The Policy Makers, Content Providers and Operators can lead us to Sustainable Digital Economies”. More than 65 chief executives and chairmen from leading telecom operators will discuss and debate the importance of collaborative efforts in building sustainable Internet business models.

HKT, Hong Kong’s premier telecommunications service provider, and PCCW Global, an operating division of HKT which provides international connectivity to enterprises and service providers worldwide, are co-sponsors and hosts.

SAMENA and ENTO stress that generating additional income is important for global telecom operators, considering flat revenues from traditional services, ever-increasing competition, very high CAPEX costs, and regulatory pressures. Telecom operators need to rethink their Internet business models in light of the recent trends which illustrate that Internet traffic has experienced exponential growth and is expected to continue in the foreseeable future.

SAMENA Telecommunications Council’s Content Committee has been exploring a number of possible future models that can assist operators to potentially offset the great imbalance between their CAPEX and ROI. The Council today releases a position paper on “Perspectives on Meeting Massive Growth on Bandwidth Demands” to provide operators with a collective framework conducive to building a sustainable Internet business model jointly.

Mr. Sheikh Mohamed Isa Al Khalifa, Group CEO of Batelco and Chairman of SAMENA Telecommunications Council, said, “The ICT ecosystem is very dynamic and the telecom operators should unite to address the changing elements in the industry, specifically in areas such as international telecommunications regulations (ITRs) as well as the building of the new sustainable Internet business model. The telecom operators are facing a critical point in the evaluation of requirements for additional CAPEX investment versus the potential realistic timely return on the same investment from broadband margins.”

Luigi Gambardella, Chairman of ETNO’s Executive Board, said, “It is essential that both SAMENA and ETNO work together to encourage the development of policies that support investment in new infrastructure by stimulating the emergence of a new Internet eco-system that encourages commercial agreements on specific quality of service levels in order to meet customers’ needs. Differentiated offers based on QoS would foster investment by telecoms operators while providing for a better user experience for Internet services.”

Mr. Alex Arena, Group Managing Director of HKT, said, “Telecom service providers face commoditization in their core access businesses, and have therefore looked to content, applications, and other transactional services to find new revenue growth opportunities. Simultaneously, many content providers are seeking other means of distribution using OTT (“Over-The-Top”) Internet hoping to maximize their revenues.”

Mr. Arena added, “The SAMENA Telecommunications Council is actively working towards the development of a viable framework which contemplates a number of forward looking collaborative business models to achieve a successful and mutually valuable working relationship among the parties. HKT is much honored to be hosting this year’s SAMENA Chairmen and CEOs Dinner in Hong Kong, bringing a significant number of key telecommunications executives from around the world to discuss and debate these framework proposals. HKT welcomes everyone to participate in the event while leveraging Hong Kong’s global ICT leadership position as a platform for new business.”